As part of Acrobat Music’s U.S. label launch, B.B. King’s B.B. King & His Orchestra Live will be released October 21, 2008, marking the recording’s first availability in the U.S. The album was recorded in January 1983 in Cannes during the international music industry gathering known as MIDEM. The concert, sponsored by Kool, was held at the Palais des Congres, where King shared the stage with Dave Brubeck Quartet and Pat Matheny.
B.B. King & His Orchestra Live presents many of King’s hits and standards recorded under the band directorship of Calvin Owens. King and famous guitar Lucille and the band were in top form on such hits as “Why I Sing the Blues,” “The Thrill is Gone,” “Everyday I Have the Blues,” “Sweet Little Angel,” and a world-class reading of Louis Jordan’s “Caldonia.”
The collection features liner notes by British music historian Neil Slaven, who says, “Instead of chitlin’ circuit gigs that paid the rent and touring bills, King was elevated to concert stages on the U.S. and Europe and ultimately, around the world. Since then, apart from winning a string of music awards including Grammys and Handys, he’s been awarded Doctorates, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Humanitarian Awards and has played at the White House for two presidents.”
Slaven quotes King biographer Charles Sawyer as observing, “His penetration into the mainstream has given blues a distinct place and a clearly defined identity as a result of his success,” adding, “Amen to that.”
Acrobat is a UK-based record label specializing in collectors’ and reissue CDs across just about every genre of music. In 2007, Acrobat Music Group purchased the Kruger Organisation catalog, a library of more than 22,000 original tracks by Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, among scores of others. Launching its U.S. label out of New York this October 21, Acrobat will establish its presence as a premier independent reissue label in the U.S. through its distribution with TVT Distribution.
The U.S. label debut features 15 reissues that offer high quality, historical significance and excellent value. The first set of releases includes jazz/big band, blues, country, R&B, doo-wop and rock. All the Premier Collection titles are showcased in “deluxe packaging,” with o-cards, extensive liner notes and either a large number of tracks or lengthy play time.